Teach me about the pros/cons of a dedicated Preamp and power amp over an integrated

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by halkaloogie, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. DavidF

    DavidF Active Member

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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Your idea to leap-frog over the power section of the Sansui makes sense in terms of getting more power output. If you are fixed on retaining the pre section of the Sansui- and that's fine- it does not make sense to get crazy in terms of price on a power amp.

    Today's budget power amps can likely better the power section of the Sansui in many ways. Your particular application does not require more than 100 watts so something from Emotiva would work very well at low entry price. Plus you can try it out for 30-days with the option to return it.

    I don't know the Dahlquist 16 but I do have experience with the well known 10. It is not a system that can take a lot of power yet (to me) it was a system that seemed to want a lot of power to open up. Unfortunately the woofer seemed to get bogged down in thermal compression when pushed hard and this went counter to getting some punch and dynamics out of the system. Anyway, point I am trying to make is that there is probably a very real limit to what kind of power is needed in your project. So, I would think 75 to 100 modern watts is about what you should look for.
     

     

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  2. manu et deo

    manu et deo I'm loving it! Subscriber

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    I use a NAD 1700 to a Crown XLS 2000 currently. But I have 4 amps to try different speakers out with. Also I'm saving for a halo P5 which gives me different combinations to try out. Hard to do that with a integrated unless it has jumpers.
     
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  3. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    I was trying to make a few points but failed on the execution.

    The Hafler amp performed above my expectations, compared to pairing it with it's "Matched" 945 Pre-Tuner that I bought it together with

    The Pre amp is more important than the Amp

    For the record, I paid less than $1k for the whole setup minus the Rotel 1072.

    If you can afford a new Odyssey Stratos or other Odyssey amp go for it, or looked for used. They drive most any speaker.

    I just sold the Hafler 9180 to another AKer 3 weeks ago
     
  4. vonclod

    vonclod AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, I'm quite happy with it, and I do think it uses a different tube, not too hard to find if I remember correct..these tubes last a very long time but doesn't hurt to have a spare set.
     
  5. halkaloogie

    halkaloogie That Jerk Subscriber

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    I'm in agreement with the getting something around 100 watts and not going overboard with it, nor do I have the budget to do so.

    Any recommendations on things I should look for or avoid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  6. PRESSON100

    PRESSON100 Member

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    It gets worse. Some equipment actually have separate power supplies in separate boxes, like my Bryston preamp.
     
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  7. lini

    lini just me...

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    I listen via headphones most of the time, so what I like about pre-/power-amp combos is that the power-amp(-section) doesn't fry along and consume energy for nothing, when I don't need it.

    Whereas running an integrated amp as pre-amp only in combination with a power-amp to me would almost appear to be the worst case (just almost, 'cause I'd like a receiver as pre-amp plus power-amp even less...).

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
  8. halkaloogie

    halkaloogie That Jerk Subscriber

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    I don't know if I understand, are you basing your opinion solely on the idea that your power bill might be a little more?
     
  9. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    A good inexpensive way in with a way out, selling the amp for what you paid, would be a nice Hafler DH-200 or 220. About 100 a side and less than $200. Also known to be excellent but for sure not a few thousand excellent like those integrated amps folks in this thread are saying are as good as separates. Hell they damn well should be for the price. No corners cut. Hafler made great sound cheap and did cut corners but these are known. I just wish he had cut the corners on the edges of the heat sinks on the DH-200. Those can hurt a bit as they dig in, those crisp edges. The DH -220 has smoothed edges and a few more watts rated 120 per.

    Lots of ways to spend way more and get less sound quality.
     
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  10. lini

    lini just me...

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    Nope, that's also a point, but more important for me is the point, that I'd rather like to avoid component aging due to heat, if possible.

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
  11. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've had both, heard many more and have come away with no favorite.

    If you find an integrated amp of sufficient quality and power that works well with your chosen speakers then I'd say it's kind of a wash with separates.
    If you are still feeling out your sound and may want to experiment, separates make that much easier.
     
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  12. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    You just named several of my favorites, not to mention the utter bliss of Accuphase...

    [​IMG]

    Of course Accuphase also makes separates, some of which cost more than my car.

    About the OP's question, I always go with 'both/and' instead of 'either/or' :)
     
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  13. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    Apologize, my post was interrupted and incomplete, that's been remedied.

    As for "matched set" the more you experiment the more you'll experience how some combinations have better synergy than others, a higher price doesn't guarantee greater compatibility.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  14. halkaloogie

    halkaloogie That Jerk Subscriber

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    I'm very much aware price doesn't equal anything, and my system is very much put together with that idea.

    You seem to have been around the block with this kind of thing and have been helpful voice with my questions, any recommendations for an amp around 100 watts per channel?
     
  15. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    Messages:
    1,079
    Wow, there are sooooooooooooo many, where to begin lol.

    If not mentioned, budget?
    Used /new?
    Tube/SS?

    No personal experience with your speakers so recommendations would be without that knowledge. I'm sure there are others that can be more help here.

    With that said, if looking for gobs of power cheap Carver should work. Something like a TFM-25 with 325watts /channel into 4ohms, even the TFM-15CB with 140watts into 4ohms. If wanting to have some real fun pick up two of the TFM-15CB's, bridge them mono for 300 watts, then you'll not need for more power lol.

    If your budget allows the choices are endless.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  16. halkaloogie

    halkaloogie That Jerk Subscriber

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    I don't need gobs of power, used is probably the best, and my speakers are 6 ohm and can take up to probably 200 watts max each. I'm in no rush to buy something, more just trying to figure out what I should be looking for in a budget of say $500 or less
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  17. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    More power isn't "always" better, but it sure doesn't hurt either lol. Being serious, having more power can help give your system that feeling of sounding effortless. It's often the norm to run power amps rated way above your speaker's max input, it's good to have lots of power reserves.

    As for what to look for, I like to use eBay's search window to follow what I'm interested in. Just search stereo amps, with a $500 budget there should be quite a few to choose from. And if you set the site to "follow" your search criteria, any newly posted amps will show up in your personal eBay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  18. I've been thirsting for one of those bad boys after hearing it in combination with a Parasound Halo A21 amp pushing a pair of Jamo S628 floorstanders at a local hi-fi shop last summer. The sound/image reproduced via that combo was so real/holographic that my wife and I damn near fell through the floor during the listening session. You could literally tell where a performer was in the studio space/on stage during the recording session. Even though I'm thoroughly satisfied with the B&K pre/power set I currently own, if I ever find myself in the market for another set of separates, I will be seeking a Parasound Halo P5 preamp and a Parasound Halo A21 amplifier. John Curl must have extra hair cells in each ear or something because the performance of his aforementioned products/design is simply startling. If anyone cares, the material used for the demo was "When the Saints Go Marching In" from the Big Band Parade CD by Cincinnati Pops Big Band Orchestra as conducted by Erich Kunzel.

    If you manage to obtain the Halo P5, please post back and let us know what you think of its performance in your setup.
     
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  19. a_retent

    a_retent Daddy's little shadow Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I like to call that power reserve.... dynamic headroom. :biggrin:
    I just saw in bartertown a pair of NAD monitor series 2400 amps and an NAD 1700 pre/turner for close to the same $ as the OPs budget. I have a pair of 2400s bridged and they certainly get the job done nicely, especially for what I paid for them. I also agree with the Carver options, for me it's the m1.0t and m1.5t both of which have headroom to spare. Bridging the m400 cube works too and has a significantly smaller footprint.

    Lotsa amp choices in your price range for sure. There has been a ton of great sugestions here so far.
     
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  20. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    Messages:
    1,079
    Ya, years ago I put together a HT system with a few amps lol. The mains driven by a Carver TFM-25 at 325watts, the center with a bridged TFM -15CB at 300watts, the rears with another TFM -15CB at 140watts, and twin passive subs with a pro amp pushing 400watts into each. These numbers are all RMS so power still in reserve, I never used all that power but the sound was effortless no matter the ear deafening volume level lol.
     
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